The role of the immune system in Alzheimer disease: Etiology and treatment

Ageing Res Rev. 2017 Nov:40:84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2017.08.005. Epub 2017 Sep 21.


The immune system is now considered a major factor in Alzheimer Disease (AD). This review seeks to demonstrate how various aspects of the immune system, both in the brain and peripherally, interact to contribute to AD. We highlight classical nervous system immune components, such as complement and microglia, as well as novel aspects of the peripheral immune system that can influence disease, such as monocytes and lymphocytes. By detailing the roles of various immune cells in AD, we summarize an emerging perspective for disease etiology and future therapeutic targets.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Complement; Innate immune system; Microglia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / immunology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Complement System Proteins